Theme Tags are a way for players to gain quicker control over the immense amount of building plans we create in the Sim Settlements community. Often players want to give their settlement's a certain flavor, or the player might prefer one style over another.
A Theme Tag denotes something as having a particular characteristic about it visually, for example it can indicate a certain primary building material, or a Faction inspiration. Currently these can be applied to Building Plans and Skins, but will likely be extended to City Plans and other content in the future as it becomes relevant.
On the City Planner's Desk, is a drawer that can be activated, and one of the options is to set up a Theme for the settlement, which allows them to do a number of things, including setting up preferred set of tags for the buildings the system auto-selects for new plots. The player can also blacklist tags that they don't like.
If a player ever blacklists tags, or selects a limited number of tags to the point that no eligible item exists to match their settings, all of their settings will be ignored and a random plan will be chosen instead.
If you are using the XEdit import method, you can set your Theme Tags there. Otherwise, they are actually represented by Keywords that you add to your Building Plan or Building Skin primary record (no need to put them on the level records). The eligible Keywords are prefixed with SS2_ThemeTag_.
If you would like to suggest additional Theme Tags, chat with other Addon Pack authors to build up a consensus and bring the ideas to me. One of the things I'd like to avoid is having dilluted tags - if we have a lot of tags used by very few buildings, then they become less useful to the player.
In addition, too many tags will also make the system intimidating, much like Building Plan selection can become after a year or so of addon pack collection, which this system was meant to help alleviate!
The point being, I'll need to hear solid arguments, or plans for a fair number of building plans to make use of a new tag before we add it.
The idea for tags was to give them a sense of categorization to make it easier for you to decide. At the time of this writing, I've identified 4 groups of tags: Faction, Materials, Theme (for lack of a better term), and Tag (again, getting a bit lame on these category names). Each of these groups include that name in the ID, just after SS2_ThemeTag_.
In general, the assumption is you will add all relevant Tag category tags, and then for each of the other categories, choose the one that matches your plan best, or none of of that category if they do not apply.
The Tag category is unique. These are some things I've identified as important aspects that could be found on any Building design, regardless of the other tags. When I say important, I mean important enough to some players that they would like to broadly blacklist or require some of these. At the time of this writing these include:
Remember the purpose of these tags is to give players an enjoyable experience, don't let your ego get caught up in this as you will never know who is blocking your plans. So try and pick the tags you believe the majority would pin your plans with.
Being inaccurate to try and get people to use your stuff more and bypass Blacklists will simply result in people uninstalling your addon.